A region and ancient country in the east of the Balkan Peninsula north of the Aegean Sea; colonized by ancient Greeks; later a Roman province; now divided between Greece and Turkey.
(Greek Thráki) Ancient region of the Balkans, SE Europe, formed by parts of modern Greece and Bulgaria. It was held successively by the Greeks, Persians, Macedonians, and Romans.
The heart of the ancient Thracian Empire was Bulgaria, where since 1945 there have been tomb finds of gold and silver dishes, drinking vessels, and jewelry with animal designs. The legend of Orpheus and the cult of Dionysus were both derived by the Greeks from Thrace. The area was conquered by Persia 6th–5th centuries BC and by Macedonia 4th–2nd centuries BC. From AD 46 it was a Roman province, then part of the Byzantine Empire, and Turkish from the 15th century until 1878; it was then subject to constant dispute until after World War I, when it was divided (in 1923) into western Thrace (the Greek province of Thráki) and eastern Thrace (European Turkey).